Do It For Daron

Today, as we prep for The MJB Foundation’s Bowl for Joy on Saturday if I may, I’d like to share a story of a different way to support children and young people with an altogether different challenge.

Tomorrow, Tuesday February 8, 2011 is Purple Pledge Day. Not sure what that is? You can check it out here.  

From the website: On November 13th, 2010, Daron Richardson took her own life. She was just 14 years old. Join us in inspiring conversations and showing support not only for Daron Richardson's family, but for all our young people who suffer in silence from the pain and stigma of mental Illness. Register your school or organization and Wear Purple (Daron's favourite colour) on February 8th.

Last Thursday when I encountered this thought on Twitter an idea started to form in my head.

You saw the smoke right?

What seems like years ago I took charge of buying new hockey jerseys for my Tuesday night C League Hockey Team, Brian’s Bail Bonds. I took a poll, made some suggestions and sent off the order. We were all excited, and then the jerseys arrived. We thought we were ordering jerseys with purple as an accent color. What we got was just slightly different. See...

Purple is one of my favorite colors so I have to confess I really like the jerseys. Most of the fellas? Not so much. Though we had waited almost 10 years to order the purple jerseys, we had new black jerseys only 3 years later, and the guys have been teasing me about the purple jerseys ever since.

From time to time we’ve had to pull out the “purple jerseys,” for example, when our colors were too close to our opponents and we were the visiting team so we had to find an alternative. I always heard about it. All in fun, but I heard about it nonetheless.

This season we are once again getting new jerseys, white ones to take the place of the “purple ones,” which as you can tell from the picture are primarily white. I have to admit I was a little sad about this. As I said, I really like the purple jersey and over time I’ve come to enjoy the banter that goes along with pulling them out every so often. Still, it does seem like it’s time to put them away. But do we really have to just discard them?

It turns out, we don’t. The send off will be a little nicer. The retirement of the purple jersey will have a very important purpose after all.

As you can surmise from the tweet Daron Richardson is the daughter of Luke Richardson former Columbus Blue Jacket Captain. So with tomorrow being my team’s night to play hockey, I sent the fellas the link to the website along with this message:

We're all hockey players. A lot of us have kids. This affects kids and families and, well a lot of things and folks in so many ways. Let's wear the purple jerseys, (as many as we have) on Tuesday one last time for Luke Richardson and his daughter Daron...Maybe we can take a picture and then retire the darn things and I'll feel like maybe they were worth it after all, and you can all stop busting my chops about 'em.”

Of course, because they really are a great group of guys The Brian’s Bail Bonds Family was immediately on board with the idea. So, tomorrow night at 9:30 at the Chiller North we’ll take to the ice one last time donning the purple jerseys. We’d love it if you could join us, but if you can’t or you don’t think you can bear to watch C League Hockey we all would completely understand. We’re just happy our wives and families come and watch us... sometimes. :-)

Please take some time tomorrow and remember Daron and her family, give your child, teenager, or significant other a hug and share a good and positive thought for the many families and young people affected by mental illness.



Julie said...

I wore my purple--complete with fuzzy, purple socks! This hits way to close to home.